ANC Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula addresses the audience during the launch of the party’s Thuma Mina campaign on May 14 2018 in Tembisa. Picture: SOWETAN/VELI NHLAPO
ANC Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula addresses the audience during the launch of the party’s Thuma Mina campaign on May 14 2018 in Tembisa. Picture: SOWETAN/VELI NHLAPO

ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday that SA was a "banana republic" because it allowed foreign nationals with no legal papers to run businesses.

Mbalula was providing feedback from the ANC to Soweto community members at the Orlando Community Hall, following violent protests and the looting of foreign-owned spaza shops in White City, a few weeks ago.

He said the government needed to regulate foreign nationals who owned spaza shops for the sustainability of businesses owned by locals.

As things stand‚ opined Mbalula‚ the country was a "banana republic to foreign nationals"‚ whom he accused of coming into the country as political refugees only to start trading illegally.

Worse still‚ he added‚ foreign nationals who owned spaza shops were "not paying tax because they keep their money under mattress".

"Even in the fallen Zimbabwe you cannot find people doing as they please. But in SA [foreign business owners] even take our jobs. Do you know why? Because SA is a banana republic.

"They do not employ locals because you refuse to be exploited by working six to six but our African brothers take those jobs and succumb to exploitation and get paid peanuts. This country to them is a banana republic because they do not want to pay‚" Mbalula said.

The former police minister said foreign nationals were welcome to do business in SA, "but they must come legally".

According to Mbalula‚ many foreign nationals were in the country illegally. And he said he knew this as fact because he used to catch them when he was police minister.

"I did not read this in newspapers but I know it because I was police minister and we did raids. When I asked for papers none were forthcoming. And there’s many of them here in SA‚" he said.

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